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The Queen's Medical Center's Labor and Delivery Department is addressing the nursing shortage by conducting a new course in the specialty, taught by it's own experienced nurses. Lately, more expectant mothers have been choosing Queen's award winning facilities and services, and more nurses were needed. L&D is poised to graduate three additional nurses. Other hospitals have similar L&D training programs.

"The L&D course is a proactive initiative to address the anticipated shortage of nurses in specialty areas," says Cyndi Kitkowski, RN, a clinical educator from Queen's Nursing Education who coordinated and helped teach the course. Cyndi points out that other specialty disciplines at Queen's, such as the OR and ICUs, already have training courses. L&D turned to their national organization, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, for help with the curriculum. With Cyndi at the helm, L&D RNs Katie Barbietto, Kuuipo Chai, Sandy Conley, Susan Ellis, Kandi Rothbaum and Barbara Wildern-all very experienced L&D nurses-pitched in to teach.

The result is a comprehensive course with rigorous classroom work and hands on experience with L&D nurse preceptors on the unit. Combined with a search for applicants who exhibited "intellectual humility and enthusiasm" and who "take responsibility for learning," Queen's new L&D course has attracted fresh new faces who are becoming the next generation of exemplary, well-trained L&D nurses—ones who make the birthing experience at The Queen's Medical Center both exceptional and safe.

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